Published: Thu, April 19, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Tax Day extended because of IRS site outage

Tax Day extended because of IRS site outage

Taxpayers now have until midnight Wednesday to file their returns or extension requests and pay their taxes.

After the Internal Revenue Service spent several hours on Tuesday dealing with technical difficulties, the agency has bumped back the deadline to file and pay taxes to Wednesday.

According to the IRS, in the last five years, over a hundred Missouri residents have fallen victim to tax scams and have lost nearly a half a million dollars.

The IRS Direct Pay system is not functioning on this last day of timely tax filing.

The IRS has not identified a cause of the outage, although it says it appears to be a hardware-related issue.

The IRS is unable to accept information transmitted from software providers, David Kautter, acting commissioner of the IRS, said after testifying at a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

It remains to be seen whether there will be some sort of grace period for those who miss the deadline as a result of the IRS's own digital problem. "The extra time will help taxpayers affected by this situation". Leaders of the Ways and Means Committee have introduced a bill to "modernize" the agency, moving it away from outdated technologies and refocusing its mission on customer service. It came on a day when Trump and his top advisers were trumpeting the tax cut passed by Congress late previous year.

"While all of the IRS's service channels are important, taxpayer needs have been evolving, with more people conducting their business using digital tools at the time and place of their choosing", Kautter wrote in his prepared remarks.

"The IRS is highly vulnerable to IT breakdowns and cyberattacks", said Pete Sepp of the National Taxpayers Union, a nonpartisan group that has pushed for changes to the IRS.

The agency discovered the problem early Tuesday morning.

Still, at least one lawmaker was irked by the trouble.

Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow offered a deadpan reaction when asked about the failure.

The IRS said they will not call, email, or leave voicemails. "Sounds frightful. Really bad", he said during a briefing with reporters in West Palm Beach, Florida.

"In a real sense, this is game day for the IRS, and it seems the IRS can't get out of the locker room", Gianforte said. "It is stressful. I can't get a lot of stuff done".

The IRS has taken to recommending that taxpayers rely on electronic filing to avoid submitting typical mistakes and obtain any refunds faster. Online filing is quicker than dropping something in the mail - when the site works, of course.

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